• Katie

Grand Canyon Thanksgiving

So it's been a busy few days. I think the last time I wrote in our Blog we were in Texas and I said that I would update you all again whenever we made it to the Grand Canyon. The drive to the canyon took us a few days. Leaving Texas we stopped in Dallas so Paul could go see where JFK was assassinated while I stayed home to work. I thought we were going to go straight to the Canyon from there but we found a really cool national monument and national reserve El Malpais.

We spent the day touring the place with our dogs. One of the coolest things we enjoyed was climbing and crawling all over the Sandstone Bluffs there. Even as an adult there's just something about climbing and making it to the top of that big rock that makes you feel like a badass. Haha. There was also a huge natral arch that was amazing to see. Several things in the area that we would have loved to do like the lava tube caves were closed becaus of covid but we will definitely be back!

After that I realized we were going right by the Petrified Forrest so why not stop there too? It was never a park that peaked my interest but we have a national park pass my boss gave me for Christmas last year so I figured since it was right there we might as well check it out.

Well.. it ended up being a really cool park to visit. It was really nice because most of the park was able to be seen from the truck. We did stop a few times and walk to a lookout and then did a hike at the blue mesa trail. Another great thing was that the dogs were able to go everywhere with us! They absolutely love hiking!

We ended up staying at the Hopi Travel Plaza for 2 nights. We just didn't feel like moving. Its weird because we're so excited to travel but sometimes we just want to stay and chill for the day. This has happened a few times. We even stayed at a rest stop once for like 20 hours. It feels weird to do this but we have to remind ourselves that this is our lifestyle now and were not just on a trip with x amount of days to travel so it's OK if we want to stay in a truck stop for 2 days or stay in a campground in the middle of nowhere for a week.

We finally made it to the Grand Canyon. We originally planed to park off of a service road where there is free dispersed camping but as we got closer I decided I wanted to stay somewhere on grid for Thanksgiving. After searching for a while i found a nice little campground, Grand Canyon Camper Village. We settled in around 1 pm. We took showers and then cleaned the house. We were just 7 miles away from the rim but we just stayed in for the evening. We had a n easy dinner and caught up on some of our shows.

The next day was Thanksgiving. We went the the Canyon for the day since we were making our own dinner plans. OMG it was stunning to see. I've seen the Canyon from a plane window and in pictures but seeing it in person is just a different experience. We checked out some of the main look out points then took the free shuttle to the South Kaibab trail. We hiked down into the canyon. I am not sure what I was thinking. We hiked down and down and finally I was like... I know my limitations and I do not want to take the JOY out of this day so I decided to plop down on a nice rock and enjoy the view as Paul continued down farther. Well... let me tell you I am glad I stopped when I did. The hike back up was NO JOKE! I think I stopped at least 20 times to catch my breath on the way back up. We definitely earned our dinner this Thanksgivig!

We were able to have a full Thanksgiving meal- even though it was not Grandma's it was pretty good. I was proud of our first little Thanksgiving. I was even more proud that the turkey i bought fit in our toaster oven and it cooked perfectly! I bought the smallest one I could find but I think we had enough turkey for 6 more people! We will be eating on it all week!

This morning we woke up a little stiff from our hike but ready to move on to the next stop. As we were packing up 6 elk were in our Campground eatiing along the fence. It was amazing that they were not afraid of us. As i was walking the dogs they let us get within 10 yards of them before they started to back away.

Now we're in the truck headed west. We keep altering our plans of what we want to do and see as we make our way to Coos Bay, Oregon so we can get settled in before we have to fly home for Christmas. We plan to settle there for a month or two. Where not sure when we will get there but I would like to feel safe and settled in before we fly home for Christmas.

We alter our plans every other day it seems, but thats ok with us. When we headed out we didn't want to have any solid plans we just wanted to go when we felt we need to go and go where we felt drawn. The newest "plan" is to skip Death Valley National Park and head straight to Sequoia National Park . From there we're going to go on up to Yosemite and then to the Redwood Forest before settling Coos Bay for the month.

I am really excited to get to the west coast. For one it's beautiful and the weather is not too bad for winter and second it will mean that Little Blue officially made it from coast to coast! Something that we always just talked about. It seems that you always see these people who live these cool lives.. going and doing. I never thought that back when we just envied those people that we would ever drop everything and just go be those people! But here we are! Dreams are never out of reach, for us or anyone else. I hope that everyone in their lifetime gets to find a way to live theirs.

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